Australian actor George Lazenby famously only played James Bond once, in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but it featured the only time 007 ever married. His bride was Tracy, played by the late Diana Rigg.
There was, reportedly, animosity between the two actors on the set of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, with Rigg accused of deliberately eating garlic before love scenes and she accusing Lazenby of a “paranoia” that destroyed the atmosphere on set.
However, on social media Lazenby paid a fulsome, heartfelt tribute to Rigg, who died today aged 82.
“I’m so sad to hear of the death of Diana Rigg. She undoubtedly raised my acting game when we made On Her Majesty’s Secret Service together in 1968-9. I remember the press conference at the Dorchester in London, knowing she was going to play my wife. We had fun together on the set of the movie in Switzerland and Portugal. Her depth of experience really helped me. We were good friends on set. Much was made of our supposed differences but that was the Press looking for a news story. I was sorry to have lost my wife in the film at the end. The death of Contessa Teresa di Vincenzo Draco created a memorable cinema moment over 50 years ago. As my new bride, Tracy Bond, I wept for her loss. Now, upon hearing of Dame Diana’s death, I weep again. My deepest condolences for her family. Love George xx”
I'm so sad to hear of the death of Diana Rigg. She undoubtedly raised my acting game when we made On Her Majesty's Secret Service together in 1968-9. I remember the press conference at the Dorchester in London, knowing she was going to play my wife. We …https://t.co/2OgVHS0JMK pic.twitter.com/bEaHKXlsnB
— George Lazenby (@lazenbyofficial) September 10, 2020
Rigg was a ’60s icon, having played cat-suited Emma Peel in The Avengers before she was cast as Teresa/Tracy in the Peter R. Hunt-directed 007 film.
Her heart-stopping beauty, spiky humour and obvious intelligence made her one of the great Bond girls, but she had to be something special if she was going to be the character who married the notorious bachelor and serial womaniser.
A Radio Times review summarised On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: “Add the perfect heroine in Diana Rigg (fresh from playing Mrs Peel in TV’s The Avengers) as a wilful mobster’s daughter who’s every bit the suave spy’s equal in spirit, bravery and fighting chops; one of John Barry’s most evocative scores; and the incomparable Louis Armstrong singing We’ve Got All the Time in the World, and you have an adventure that’s right up there with the best of the franchise.”